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This weekend on Tampa Bay stages: Wayne Brady, an Agatha Christie gem

There’s Jeanne Robertson and an inventive Florida Orchestra collaboration, too.
Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. [Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater]
Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. [Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater]
Published Oct. 9, 2019

HE DOES IT ALL: WAYNE BRADY

Pick a talent, and Wayne Brady’s got it. Comedy? He has won Emmys for the improvised Whose Line Is It Anyway?, plus his own talk show and the game show Let’s Make a Deal. Music? He was nominated for a Grammy for his rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come, and once won another Emmy for songwriting. Stage? He has played Billy Flynn in Chicago, Tom Collins in Rent, Lola in Kinky Boots and Aaron Burr in Hamilton. He’s as hyphenated as a multi-hyphenate gets. Watch him live this weekend, and you’ll see. $35 and up. 7 p.m. Sunday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

MASTER STROKES: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

In March, the Florida Orchestra teamed up with St. Petersburg painter Geff Strik on a multimedia performance of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht. Strik painted and repainted a series of scenes illustrating the piece; the process was filmed and projected above the orchestra during what turned out to be a deeply moving performance. “That, I think, is something that we’re doing that no one else is doing anywhere in the world,” music director Michael Francis would later say. “It’s really quite unique. So if people want to see that, they’ve got to come to us.” They’ll do so again during this weekend’s Masterworks program, as Strik — now the orchestra’s first-ever visual artist in residence — debuts a collaborative visualization of Strauss’ Don Quixote. Once again, a film of Strik painting, and then the paintings themselves, will screen above the orchestra during the performance, which features cellist Maximilian Hornung. If it’s anything like Verklarte Nacht, it’ll be one of the most memorable performances of the season. And it would be so even without Don Quixote, as the program also features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, as arranged by Gustav Mahler — the first of nine Beethoven symphonies the orchestra will present this season and next. The event also features the world premiere of Kevin Wilt’s Imagined Adventures: AutoBonn. $18 and up. 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

Artist Geff Strik with a painting inspired by Schoenberg's "Verklarte Nacht" at his St. Petersburg studio. [Times]

RELATED: A poem, a painter, a ‘transfigured’ performance — and it all came together over coffee

CAROLINA ON HER MIND: JEANNE ROBERTSON

Jeanne Robertson has been an in-demand speaker and humorist for decades. But it has all changed since the advent of SiriusXM and YouTube. Spinning stories about her life and family, the North Carolina grandmother found a new generation of fans looking for family-friendly Southern comedy with heart. That has led to more books, albums, DVDs and comedy tours — although Robertson, 76, is usually quick to say her type of comedy is more about finding the humor in life than a joke-joke-joke barrage of punch lines. Either way, she’s got people laughing. $36.25 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

On Friday, Jeanne Robertson will perform at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. [Courtesy of Jeanne Robertson]

EXPERIMENTAL: WHAT’S THE SCORE

As any dancer and choreographer would be, Andee Scott is very thoughtful about movement. But lately she has been considering the way the audience watches and understands dance, leading her to develop What’s the Score, an experiment she’s conducting at the Studio@620. Using an improvisational score, dancers will create a dance in real time, while a moderator engages the audience to participate by reacting to the improvised movements that they find successful. In what she calls a “play-by-play dance cast,” the audience can freeze the dancers or rewind their movements. Audience members will also have the opportunity to move. $20, $15 members. 7:30 p.m. Friday. 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.

AGATHA CHRISTIE: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Halloween is on the horizon, bringing all things dark and scary, even to Tampa Bay stages. Hat Trick Theatre is the third company to open its season with a thriller. And it’s from the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None is by far one of her most chilling works. It sees a group of strangers, all marked for murder, summoned to a remote island. They go down one by one to the lines of an eerie nursery rhyme. Opens Thursday and runs through Oct. 20. $24. Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. For showtimes, visit hattricktheatre.com.


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